Born of Night (The League #1)

"They'll come for you with everything they have."
"And I will fight them with everything they taught me to be."

Born of Night
Sherrilyn Kenyon
The League, book one
ebook, 560 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
First published January 1996
ISBN 9781429959902

In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption...

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League—and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.

It's been what feels like a lifetime since I've read Kenyon's work. Her book, Fantasy Lover, actually inspired the title of this blog.

Kenyon puts many a writer to shame with her unnatural degree of talent and beyond that, she's gone all out with her craft with her website. Not only does she have her books fully cast, but each has their own playlist as well. Check out her site here. It just might blow your mind.

Dancing Hauk. Darling Cruel. -- And no, those weren't adjectives. That's their actual names. -- Sheridan, AKA Syn. And a lady named Jayne. These are the most, and only, people trusted by Nykyrian, AKA Nemesis, the most notorious assassin that has ever been known throughout the galaxies. Nine years ago, he abandoned the League, an unheard of feat, after receiving a contract he refused to carryout. Since then, he and his colleagues have formed the Sentella, an organization whose sole purpose is to balance the extant of the League's power. Protect the innocent; kill the vermin.

Kiara Zamir, famous ballet dancer and daughter of their planet's president, is considered a princess among her people. Having survived more assassination attempts than she care to think about, Kiara is a young woman who has learned well the dangers of living and she'll make damn sure not to go down without a fight. Having been taken hostage, she puts up one hell of a struggle against her captivity and impending rape but in the end is forced to rely on a savior. That is, Syn. And with him, in all his lethal glory, is Nemesis.

Nykyrian recognizes Kiara instantly. He's seen her dance. Heard her voice. Still, he is ill prepared for the affect her beauty and presence have upon his person. Even more unprepared for the tenacious spirit inside her. A spirit that is reaching its breaking point. They manage to get her to safety, return her to her father, and say their farewells. Only to return for her once they realize what great a threat there is against her life.

Nykyrian has to be the most tortured, lonely character I've ever read. For the better part of the book, he simply longs for Kiara. Her softness. Her care. And if we weren't privy to his POV there's no way in hell you would ever think a romance was brewing. He is one seriously shut off individual. Kiara tries her best to befriend him. To know him. Yet, he adamantly pushes her away at every turn. When they finally do begin their relationship, it's altogether shocking at how well and easily Nykyrian's shields drop around her. The man likes to cuddle!

Syn. What can you not love about Syn? As Kiara comes to witness just how bloody Nykyrian can be, her words turn judgmental and Oh My Damn, I was so ready for Syn to beat the crap out of her. He certainly gave her an earful for many pages, expressed regret in saving her pitiful, over-protected life, and told her to stay the fuck away from him. Even Nykyrian ends up threatening her life. When she completely lost it, calling him a 'hybrid', I began rooting for someone, anyone, to go through with the threat. As much as I loved Kiara, that chick deserved some serious punishment.

This was an amazing read... right up until Nykyrian fakes his death. Then there's a time jump, Syn goes missing, and all kinds of people start coming out of the woodwork. A daughter. Mother. Father. Way too much way too fast and not all entirely necessary. Grr. Hate it when something so epic falls flat at the finale. That said, I'm completely sold on the series and as soon as I finish up a few other books on my schedule, I'm coming back to The League, making myself comfortable, and plan to stay awhile.

4 out of 5 stars.

Note To Self
Born of Fire, book two: Syn & Shahara
Born of Ice, book three: Devyn (Syn's son) & Alix
Fire & Ice, book three.five: Adron (Nykyrian's son) & Livia
Born of Shadows, book four: Caillan (brother of Shahara) & Desideria
Born of Silence, book five: Kere (AKA Darling Cruel) & Zarya
Cloak & Silence, book six: Maris (friend of Darling Cruel) & Ture (M/M)
Born of Fury, book seven: Hauk & Sumi
Born of Betrayal, book eight: Fain (Hauk's brother) & Galene (2/3/15)
Born of Defiance, book nine: Talyn (Galene's son) & Felicia (11/3/15)
Born of Vengeance, book ten: Bastien & ? (due 7/1/2016)

No comments: